public lands


At the height of our nation’s economic crisis, 34-year-old Interior Department employee Mary Pletcher became the lead career executive for awarding and tracking $2.9 billion in economic stimulus funds used to preserve and restore iconic national treasures, provide vital infrastructure in impoverished Indian communities and create jobs.

Leading the largest single investment in public lands since the Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal, Pletcher managed funds for some 4,000 projects ranging from major improvements to Ellis Island to the nation’s largest dam removal and natural habitat restoration project on the Elwha River in Washington State. Under her leadership, Interior met all of the requirements under the stimulus law on time, and with no significant instances of waste or fraud. Keep reading →